Never hire a contractor without proven references (verified by you)… and never hire anyone that gives you a bad vibe, you are entering into a temporary partnership in a sense, and it is best if you like the person you are going to work with – it will make a huge difference.
That said, this is sometimes easier said than done, how do you know what references are good and trustworthy.
As a renovation contractor I can tell you that satisfied customers, especially in the renovation business, are more than happy to provide reference and usually will allow you to view the contractors past work (not always, but most satisfied customers will). It is rare to find a good renovation contractor, and those that do good work usually continue to work for the same people over the years – so it makes sense that past customers will still be familiar with the contractor in question and willing to show you his work.
Many Years ago I had the opportunity to refit a 50′ yacht – complete from front to back (or properly stated bow to stern). However, before this project started, the owner was fixated on using painters masking tape and laying out every detail for the boat – not once, not twice, but several times in some cases, and not all in the same day… this went on for several days. We even used cardboard to mock up cabinets and equipment!
Even though I was being paid well to go along with this process and redo layouts more times than I care to remember, I could only think of one thing – man this guy is anal – how many times can you do this! Move this line 1/2″ that way, no, lets do that again and make it 3/4″. Let me say, in that week I had thought of dropping the job many times each day – all I could think of was “How anal will this guy be once I start the actual work?”
Vinyl tub surrounds are very popular and reasonably easy way to spruce up the walls around your old tub. They come in a multitude of designs and quality, full height or 59″ – they can be cheap at about $60 or go all the way up to $300.
But, be warned – more expensive is not always better.
I have installed many of these kits and have learned that a higher price is no guarantee of better quality “or fit”. I recently bought a kit for $240 for a job and was seriously disappointed – so much so that I returned it for a unit that was less than $100 – and the cheaper one was twice the quality!
I think it is because there are so many crappy tools around that the good ones really stand out, and when they find ones that work well and can take a crap load of abuse, they just have to tell all their friends and anyone that happens to lend an ear.
I’m no different… and that leads me to the Porter-Cable 9690 Router
If you are patching or filling holes, scratches or dents on primed white walls or trim it is a good idea to mix a little colour (paint tint) into the filler you are using. If you don’t, it is very easy to miss some of these spots when you are sanding and spot priming afterward.
Why is this important? Any areas that you have filled must be spot primed before you apply a finish coat of paint, if you do not prime these spots, they will show up as flat, dull spots on your finished walls and trim (even on low sheen finishes like eggshell). by adding colour to your filler you will be able to see all the spots you filled, sand them and spot prime them all – this applies to mouldings and any built-in woodwork as well.
Most lumber yards carry small tubes of paint tint that you can use. You won’t need much so just get a small tube. You can also buy coloured fillers at some stores but is much more expensive. If you are in a bind and cannot get the paint store, a very small amount of a deep coloured latex paint will work – paint tint is better though.